Saturday, March 14, 2009

The Whopper Bar

On Tuesday, Burger King unveiled its plan to take on rival McDonald's McCafe brand: the grand opening of its mouthwatering Whopper Bar.

No, it's not a candy bar that tastes like a whopper, nor is it a venture that will serve alcohol. It is, however, a unique idea that is the first of its kind among major U.S. fast food chains.

The first Whopper Bar opened on March 10 at the Universal CityWalk in Orlando, Florida. Burger King's CEO stated in a recent interview with Fox Business Channel that the next location will be Munich, Germany (this summer), with future Whopper Bars likely in Hong Kong, Los Angeles, New York, Rio de Janeiro, and Singapore. If all goes to plan, six such locations will be opened by the end of 2009, with 500 more locations mulled in future years if these ventures are deemed successful. Unlike regular Burger King establishments, though, the Whopper Bar will be targeting such venues as airports, casinos, cruise ships, and stadiums.

The quirkiness of such an idea lies in the underlying, quite revolutionary, concept: customers being able to watch their burgers being made. With a choice of 22 topping available--including, but not limited to, guacamole, smoked bacon, and steak sauce--Burger King cannot be castigated for a lack of trying. Indeed, such a plethora of toppings creates a whole smorgasbord for the consumer, which may help rally BK's stock and create excitement amongst the clientele.

The menu will feature the regular Whopper, as well as its Bourbon and Double counterparts; Pepper Bacon, Three-Cheese, and regular Steakhouse XT burgers; and more. At the moment, there are no plans to add the Whopper Junior to the menu, however.

The design is also new: an open kitchen with a new bar setting (as pictured above). The traditional Burger King colors have also been changed, both in the bar itself and in employees' uniforms, which have been tailored to match the new black, gray, and red look.

Quite original, indeed, but will this grandiose scheme catch on?


Mark said...

walk around jerusalem or tel aviv and you'll discover that there's not a lot revolutionary about this idea. at least over here

Joe said...

fortunately for McDonald's, it is more respectable to move from lower-end products to something more moderate (McCafe), as opposed to Starbucks, who is moving from high end to moderate/lower-end